Solanum dianthophorum Dunal, Hist. Nat. Solanum 183 (1813)
S. biflorum R. Br., Prodr. 445 (1810), nom. illeg., non Lour., Fl. Conchin. 1: 129 (1790).
T: Port II [Port Clinton, Qld], R. Brown s.n.[Bennett 2668]; lecto: BM; fide D.E. Symon, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 4: 191 (1981). This is presently considered to be the only specimen known of this species (Bean 2004). An image of the specimen can be seen at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_diant.jpg and on the Solanaceae Source site.
Although it is not said in Bean (2004), it is assumed that non-type specimens, previously assigned to S. dianthophorum in Symon (1981) and Purdie et al (1982), are now treated as part of the variation of S. ellipticum .
Prostrate? shrub. Juvenile stage unknown. Adult branchlets rusty or brown; prickles absent; stellae very dense, 0.4–0.5 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long; lateral rays 8–13, porrect; central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Adult leaves ovate, entire; lamina 1.5–3.5 cm long, 0.9–1.8 cm wide, 1.9–2.4 times longer than broad, apex obtuse or acute, base obtuse or cordate, oblique part 0–1.5 mm long, obliqueness index 0–4 percent; petioles 0.4–0.85 cm long, 20–25% length of lamina, prickles absent. Upper leaf surface grey-green; prickles 0–2, straight, acicular, 0.5–1.5 mm long, prickles absent or present on midvein only; stellate hairs distributed throughout; protostellae absent; ordinary stellae dense, 0.1–0.2 mm apart, 0.3–0.4 mm across, sessile; lateral rays 8, porrect; central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Lower leaf surface yellowish; prickles absent; stellae very dense, 0.05–0.15 mm apart, 0.3–0.4 mm diameter, stalks 0–0.1 mm long; lateral rays 8, porrect; central ray 0.5–1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent.
Inflorescence supra-axillary, pseudo-racemose, common peduncle absent, rachis prickles absent; 2–4-flowered, flowers 5-merous; pedicels 4–5 mm long at anthesis, same thickness throughout, c. 0.5 mm thick at mid-point, prickles absent. Calyx tube c. 1.5 mm long, lobes attenuate, c. 3 mm long; prickles present at anthesis, 1–4 per flower, 0.5 mm long; stellae very dense, brown or rusty, 0.3–0.45 mm across, stalks 0–0.1 mm long, lateral rays 8, central ray 0.6-1 times as long as laterals, not gland-tipped; finger hairs absent; Type 2 hairs absent. Corolla c. 7 mm long, deeply lobed, inner surface glabrous; anthers c. 3.9 mm long.
Fruiting calyx with lobes less than half length of mature fruit, prickles present, 0.5–1 mm long. Mature fruits 1 per inflorescence, globular, 9–10 mm diameter (maturity unknown); pedicels 7–12 mm long in fruit, 0.9–1.2 mm thick at midpoint.
[Reproduced, with permission, from Bean 2004].
Distribution and ecology
Previously thought to occur predominantly in eastern Qld and in scattered localities in central and western Qld, in a variety of habitats, but this species is now, according to Bean (2004), only represented by the type collected by Robert Brown from Port Clinton, Shoalwater Bay in Qld.
Considered by Bean (2004) to be a member of the S. ellipticum group of subgen. Leptostemonum.
Collections previously assigned to this species are now considered to be S. ellipticum (Bean 2004), with S. dianthophorum restricted to the type collection only. Bean documents the following differences between the type collection and S. ellipticum
- leaves 1.5-3.5 cm long compared with 3.5-14 cm for S. ellipticum
- prickles absent on the stems and petioles, present in S. ellipticum
- petioles 0.4-0.9 cm long, 0.8-5 cm for S. ellipticum
- calyx less than half fruit length, calyx greater than half fruit length for S. ellipticum
- scattered (1-4) tiny prickles on the calyx, denser (5-50) stout prickles in S. ellipticum
- stellate hairs smaller in size than those of S. ellipticum
Now considered to be only represented by the type (Bean 2004).
From the web
Further information and links for this species can be found on the Solanaceae Source site.
An image of the type specimen from the Natural History Museum, London (BM) and the only record of this species can be found at http://delta-intkey.com/solanum/images/Sol_diant.jpg
The distribution map generated from the AVH (March 2009) still reflects the older Flora of Australia concept of this species. Most of the dots on the map would presumably belong with S. ellipticum under Bean's classification.